Student System Project Archive

The SSP Archives contains documents and information of historical interest regarding the implementation of the University's Student Information System (SIS).




We envision a system that enables all student-related administrative processes (from recruitment and application to graduation and beyond) to be carried out electronically, with only “value-added” manual effort required by students, faculty, and/or staff.


To provide the University community with an efficient and effective student information system that supports the University's mission, integrates with existing systems, and adapts to growth and change.

Guiding Principles

1. The Student System Project (SSP, the “Project,” the “Team”) supports the primary missions of the University – research, teaching, and service – as well as its strategic goals.

2. Because the SSP is a business project and not an information-technology project, it has support at the executive level through the Integrated System (IS) Executive Committee, and serves the University with an opportunity to enable strategic business transformation.

3. The goal of successfully implementing a new student system for the University of Virginia includes the contributions and participation of all schools, units, and programs across the University.

4. The new student system replaces ISIS and creates the University’s new system of record for admission, student finance, and registration and records. Systems that currently provide data to or extract data from ISIS may also be involved with the implementation of a new student information system. It is expected that the new system provides greater functionality, accuracy, depth of information, consistency, and security centrally than is possible in current shadow or supporting student systems across the University and, therefore, provides significant benefit to all participants.

5. The Project communicates early, often, and in various modes to the audiences and groups affected by the implementation of a new student system through a defined, strategic approach to change management.

6. The University adopts “best business practices” that have been built into the functionality of the student system software and related products, and modification of the base code is held to an absolute minimum. Modifications occur only after requests undergo a defined review process and, when deemed to be necessary, are approved by the IS Executive Committee in the context of their academic mission criticality, cost effectiveness, and pertinent legal and regulatory requirements.

7. The governance structures of the project insure that the Project’s strategic issues arising from the pre-implementation strategic issues that are ranked “critical” must be resolved quickly and decisively prior to implementation.

8. In order to insure resolution of key issues, the SSP recommends a prescribed timeline and default recommendation for each issue. The Team consults with appropriate stakeholders to determine the best solution for the greatest number of stakeholders; however, in the absence of a decision within the prescribed timeline, SSP’s default recommendation is adopted. The Executive Committee retains authority to review and revise the SSP’s drafted default positions.

9. Rankings of strategic issues are continually evaluated and resolved accordingly and in light of project dependencies.

10. Decisions are made in a timely manner and in accordance with defined protocols.

11. The Project may recommend organizational changes, including reallocation of financial and human resources in support of re-engineered and efficient processes, to the IS Executive Committee for review and approval.


12. Systems initiatives, improvements, new projects, existing systems or enhancements that represent significant investments by the University and that compete for the same set of resources related to the student system, including “bolt-ons” to the SSP software and database and/or independent initiatives in departments, schools, or programs across the University, are not developed during the SSP development and implementation timeline without approval of the IS Executive Committee through a defined process and format.

13. An established methodology is used for completing and documenting implementation tasks.

14. The software is tested thoroughly to ensure operational sufficiency and security, as well as regulatory and legal compliance.

15. Sufficient resources are committed to technical infrastructure, user-training, reporting, and data conversion, as appropriate, prior to, during, and after implementation.

16. The technology is implemented to:

• Improve student service delivery
• Provide a secure and scalable environment for self-service
• Reduce paper based processes
• Reduce the need for shadow systems, where appropriate
• Increase on-line access to information in a secure environment
• Support one level of approval as the standard for transactions, where appropriate
• Standardize administrative processes, where appropriate, so that they can be effectively supported in a central system
• Standardize data definitions where appropriate to improve reporting
• Support compliance with laws and regulations

17. Where feasible options exist, the implementation alternative that enables the greatest flexibility for future enhancement is selected in order to position the University to respond to change.